can dogs eat ham bones?

Can Dogs Eat Ham Bones? Better Be Safe Than Sorry

Ah yes, holidays are a good excuse for having a feast in your home once in a while. It’s usually that time of the year when you can prepare all the best dishes fit for the occasion. One of these popular dishes is ham. Just thinking about it, makes my mouth water. I mean what’s a holiday without a ham?

Of course, holidays are meant to be celebrated by everyone, and you might even think about throwing your dog the leftover ham bone just so they can feel the spirit of the holidays with a tasty treat. Let me stop you right now and tell you that this is a bad idea.

Can My Dog Eat Ham Bone?

dog eating a piece of bone
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Any kind of bone your dog eats is bad for them, regardless of what kind of bone or what size it is. Those ham bones from your leftover dinners are no different. The worst kinds are the cooked bones because these are easier to break down once your dog chews on them.

Sharp bone fragments are your number one enemy as these can damage your dog’s stomach or intestines and cause internal bleeding. You should also watch out for huge bone chunks because these can lodge in your dog’s esophagus or intestinal tract and obstruct food passage and blood flow.

If your dog consumes a ham bone, there’s a very high chance the bone fragments make their way to your dog’s abdomen perforating all the internal organs it passes. This can result in Peritonitis or the inflammation of the peritoneum, a lining on the abdominal wall. This happens when a foreign object, the ham bone, punctures the stomach or intestines, causing a bacterial infection.

Dog owners should also be cautious about feeding dogs raw bones. Although these are harder to break down and can make a nutritious and delicious treat for dogs, still, it should be consumed with supervision. Your dog can chew on raw ham bones, but remember the risks that come with it like bacterial infections including Salmonella, E. coli, and more.

Can Dogs Eat Ham Hocks?

ham hocks can't be eaten by dogs
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A Ham hock is the part of the joint where the leg meets the pig’s feet. This is used in many dishes and would make a tasty treat for dogs. But, no, dogs can’t eat ham hocks. Why? Because these are usually large in size and can be a choking hazard. It can also cause gastrointestinal upset like other cooked bones.

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Can Dogs Eat Ham Bones From Petco

ham bones
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Most ham bones you’ll see in Petco are cooked ham bones and as mentioned before, any cooked bones are bad for dogs. Other store-bought ham bones are also not recommended because these are processed meat that is usually made with a lot of sodium and other additives.

What to Do if My Dog Swallows a Ham Bone

dog eating a ham bone
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Look for these signs and symptoms if your dog eats, chews, or swallows a ham bone:

  • Bloody or dark stools
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dental problems or mouth injuries

If you observe these symptoms in your dog, take them to the vet so they can get a diagnosis and get treated immediately.

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What Other Kind of Bones Can Dogs Eat

Are Bones Safe for Dogs?
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Raw bones are a slightly better option for dogs because they don’t easily break or splinter. It’s worth reiterating that even though most raw bones are safe for dogs, dog owners’ supervision is still needed. Another alternative is dental chew bones. These are great for your dog’s teeth and even aid with aching teeth or gums. Use it as a treat or a dental solution for teething puppies.


In summary, you should never feed your dog a cooked bone of any kind and only give them a raw bone that’s bigger than their head so they are not at risk of choking. Know the truth about raw dog food diet. Remember, cooked bones can splinter easily and cause severe internal damage to your dog’s mouth or stomach if consumed. Don’t put your dog’s life at stake just for a little taste of savory goodness. It’s not worth it. If you have a puppy or dog that loves to chew, you can opt for giving your dog chewing bones instead. This way, there’s less risk for bacterial infections or internal injuries.

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